CNSNews.com is reporting that the Health and Human Service’s Office of Refuge Resettlement (ORR) has issued a new regulation on “sexual abuse and sexual harassment” of unaccompanied children (UC’s). Although the regulation doesn’t specifically mention abortion, the government confirmed in an email to CNS that the “lawful pregnancy-related medical services” include abortion.
The new regulation is aimed at preventing, detecting and responding to sexual abuse and sexual harassment of UC’s which might occur in a provider’s facilities.
“Care provider facilities must provide UC victims of sexual abuse timely, unimpeded access to emergency medical treatment, crisis intervention services, emergency contraception, and sexually transmitted infections prophylaxis, in accordance with professionally accepted standards of care, where appropriate under medical or mental health professional standards.”
They must also provide “unimpeded access” to abortion.
This new regulation applies to all organizations, even those that morally object to some of these services. The government addressed these concerns by suggesting that those organizations who object to abortion and contraception services could partner with either the ORR or another organization that would be willing to provide access to this care.
“ORR is mindful that some potential and existing grantees and contractors may have religious or moral objections to providing certain kinds of services, including referrals (for example, for emergency contraception),” the regulation said.
While they are committed to providing resources and referrals for the “full range of legally permissible services” to UCs, they are “also committed to finding ways for organizations to partner with us, even if they object to providing specific services on religious grounds,” the regulation said.
The regulation goes on to say: “Again, as long as UCs [unaccompanied children] have timely access to all required services, different organizations could divide up the services provided.”
The new rules also require providers to train their staff in “LGBTQI” (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning and intersex) as far as identifying “transgender and intersex” UCs.
According to the Center for Family and Human Rights (CFAM), the rules assert that “‘Gender’ refers to the attitudes, feelings, and behaviors that a given culture associates with a person’s biological sex,” and that “This term is not to be confused with ‘sex’ [which] refers to a person’s biological status and is typically categorized as male, female, or intersex.”
It goes on to clarify that gender identity, “refers to one’s sense of oneself as a male, female, or transgender,” it says.
As CFAM reports, regardless of the methods offered to accommodate faith-based charities, "the requirement to perform, partner or refer for abortion or contraception is a violation of conscience rights."
Providers must comply with the rule by June 24, 2015, according to the Federal Register.
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